Taxes and Savings

I’ve been doing my taxes lately (somewhat frantically as I am eager to find out what kind of financial aid package I can expect from school for next fall) and happily found that I will be getting a hefty refund due to all my educational expenses over the past year. Enough that it puts me past my savings goals I was not expecting to reach until the end of this year. Because of this I think I will increase my savings goal just a tad so that I can get myself a nice round number in a particular account (wow, all those zeros!) and because I was prepared to save the money anyway.

An interesting thing has happened as a result of this extra savings. I have spent a day or two thinking about what I could do with all this extra income I was not expecting. Maybe finally building that dream multimedia PC I have been designing for years in the back of my head while riding trains and during the duller moments of some undergrad classes. Most of the work though is configuration and getting the software just right, so the actual out-of-pocket costs would probably not exceed $500 or $600. I’d like something silent, energy efficient with a sleek form-factor, that could act as a DVR, torrent downloader, automated dvd ripper, music/photo/video server, hulu/fancast/etc capable, misc file storage, scheduled fm recorder (to catch those talk shows I used to listen to at work), podcast downloader, MAME so I can play classic games, all with a nice front end navigable with a remote and a wireless mouse+keyboard combo for other things. And a place to dock and auto-sync an mp3 player for grabbing the fm recordings and podcasts would be nice. Of course, then I’ll need an mp3 player, so there’s another $150-$300. I have taken to walking home from school so it would be nice to have things to listen to, it may ultimately get me to walk more as well.

Of course I also want a new bike and maybe a bread machine this year. But those were already budgeted for.

I suppose I could use some more clothes, I’d have to work hard to spend more than $1,500 on those. It’s such a chore for me.

I could take a vacation or a trip. But my bf is a little cash-strapped and couldn’t afford to come along, plus I am not really interested in travel, so that essentially excludes that.

Point of all this being, there isn’t much that I wish to do with my money beyond save it. Which is probably what will happen to this windfall.

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